Synonyms: Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED Special Edition, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Movie, Kokuu no Senjou, The Empty Battlefield, Harukanaru Akatsuki, The Far-Away Dawn, Meidou no Sora, The Rumbling Universe
Three TV movies made from Mobile Suit Gundam Seed series.
1. The Empty Battlefield (Kokuu no Senjou)
2. The Far-Away Dawn (Harukanaru Akatsuki)
3. The Rumbling Sky (Meidou no Sora)
Much like the Mobile Suit Gundam theatrical movies, the Gundam Seed: Special Edition movies are intended to be an override of the story from the TV series.
These episodes are in fact a complete recap of all 50 episodes of the TV series and were first shown on television in Japan. The Special Edition episodes feature some new scenes and tweaks to previously animated scenes. The first special, The Empty Battlefield, which was episodes 1 to 21 of the series, was aired in two parts on Japanese TV in March 2004, followed by the next special, The Far-Away Dawn, which was episodes 22 to 40, in July 2004. The final special, The Rumbling Sky, which was episodes 41 to 50. While the story is overall unchanged, there are a few minor changes. In addition, several scenes are re-animated and re-dubbed.
The main problem I have with pretty much all the Gundam series is that they are far too long for what they are. The release of the movies pretty much guarantees that I can watch these shows without being bored by useless drama and filler. All of the Gundam movies have done a great job of rounding out the series into a succinct bundle that allows a viewer who doesn't want to parse 50 episodes to sit down and watch a set of movies.
That being said, I first was recommended Gundam SEED from friends who thought the anime was groundbreaking and excellent.
After watching a couple of episodes of the series, I could tell I was going to have to deal with the "Gundam Drag" in this show, as well. Instead of writing off the show as too slow, I decided to watch the much more concise movies.
I will admit, I wasn't terribly impressed by the story. The plot was very much scripted from previous Gundams, which is pretty much understood to be the norm for any Gundam series, but I felt some of the character interactions let it at least stand alone as a separate entity. If you have watched another Gundam series, except for a few of the lesser projects, then you will not be superbly impressed by this one. Both the start and end of the plot are near carbon copies of other Gundams, only the culmination of events is slightly different.
Even so, the films still seem to deliver. In the little time that the series of movies has to capture your attention, it is easy to get attached to or disgusted with any of the characters. As the events unfold, nearly every moment is enjoyable and feels somewhat fresh.
As long as you don't start role-casting from other Gundams like I found myself doing, you should be able to enjoy these films in their entirety and not have to worry about far too much time spent watching the entire series.
These gundam movies, while just a compilation of the action scenes of Gundam Seed, shows you many things that the anime series does not. Things like who was rusty?, the fifth member of athrun's team, or what were kira's thoughts about his mother, or even the biggest bombshell of all- what does Rau La Creuset's face look like? If you want to find the answers, than these movies are for you.
So Seed is one of those really divisive series. It was really popular among the general anime crowd when it came out, but has a mostly poor reputation among Gundam fans, who complain that it's largely a rehash of the original series. I'm a long time Gundam fan who got out of the fandom for a bit when this was popular, but I finally heard there were digest movies that supposedly did a decent job condensing the series, so I figured I'd give it a shot and try to give it a fair chance.
Gundam fans are right about it borrowing a lot from
earlier shows. Like most of the first film seems like it was based on a loose outline of the first Gundam series, and there are characters who are basically Amuro, Char, and Ramba Ral with the names changed. And I do feel like I would have enjoyed these parts more if I were new to Gundam, but they didn't do it poorly enough that I hated it or anything. And during the second movie, the plot does veer off into its own unique thing. Sadly, by the third movie, that thing is mostly "everyone's either Kira's friend or a puppy kicking, mustache twirling genocidal maniac." One big theme in Gundam series is that there are good and bad people on both sides, even if one side is clearly worse overall than the others, and during the first two films, Seed embraced that, so it was sad to see it dropped for seemingly no reason.
Most of the characters were sadly rather bland, though this may have partially been due to how they chose to condense the TV series into these films. But in any case, I can only judge what I've seen. Most of the side characters are just there, Kira is boring and generic, and the villains in the last film are pretty interchangable aside from who they wanted to exterminate. On the plus side, I rather liked Cagalli and her relationship with Athrun. To the point where I think it would have been a much better series if it focused on them.
Art wise, this is sadly was made during the awkward transition from painted cels to digital ones, and to make it worse, it embraced the ugly style of character design that was popular in the late 1990s. The result might be the ugliest Gundam series ever made.
I don't hate this, but I can't really say I'd recommend it to anyone. There's a good chance you'd enjoy it if you haven't seen any Gundam series before, but then why watch this instead of one the original series, 08th MS Team, or Iron Blooded Orphans? I really don't know who this would be for aside from people who are nostalgic for it now.
I only give this anime a low score because i have ONLY seen the first movie, but I am going to watch all 3.
In all honesty I love Gundam SEED/Destiny, but I did not have the time to re-watch the entire series, so I figured I'd watch the movies. The first movie is....well terrible, in comparison to the actual series, the whole movie is just a bunch of clips from the series, with a few new scenes here and there. If you have not seen the series, I would recomend watching it instead of this movie only because they cut out so much from
the story that you are not able to connect with the characters! Its seems that all these caracters have no depth to them at all, which is not the case! The story suffers much as well, with so much cut out.
The only reason I finished the movie was to see then new scenes and see if I would learn something new about the characters or plot, but sadly that was not the case.
This movie crams about the first 20 episodes or so into a short lifespan(95min), so what would you expect?
bottom line, make time for the series if you have not seen it and skip this movie. You should really only watch this movie if you are a die-hard fan and you MUST see anything Gundam SEED/Destiny related.